To track down a company who sends you illegal text adverts and take legal action follow the instructions below. While you are doing this remember to take careful notes of everything that happens i.e. the text contents, when it arrived, who phoned back, time you spent on the case etc. You will need these notes in the unlikely event that the spammer doesn't settle out of court, or liquidate themselves, and defends the claim.
|Step 1||Reply to the text positively. You will get a return call within about 2 days. Only reply to one text at a time so you can tell which text message they are phoning back from!|
|Step 2||Give the caller enough information to gain their trust e.g. if they ask if you have debts then they are looking to find out if you have 2 or more debts of at least a few thousand pounds each (and no property equity.) If it's about PPI then it's good if you are self-employed etc.|
|Step 3||Ask them for their web site so you can "verify that they are a real company". Go to that web site and try to find a contact address. There are sites on the net such as network-tools.com which will show contact information for company web sites if you put in the web domain, or you can look up details at Companies House and other sites.|
|Step 4||The company who phones is not normally the company who sent the text directly, so write politely asking who they bought your details from and who sent the text. Say that this is a Subject Access Request as defined by the Data Protection Act 1998 and they have 40 days to reply. Send this as recorded delivery so you can prove they received it.||See template Download template|
|Step 5||You should get reply within 40 days saying who sent the text. If they don't reply (or fail to give you the contact details) then tell them that you are raising a complaint with the Information Commissioner's Office. The ICO will help you get the contact details if they still won't cooperate.|
|Step 6||When you have found the source of the text then work out how much time you have spent dealing with their case and offer to settle out of court for compensation. Give them a reasonable amount of time to respond e.g. two weeks. Explain that you will be submitting a claim to the Small Claims Court if they don't pay.|
Finally put a claim into the Small Claims Court. This
will only cost you £25 to claim up to £275 (plus your £25 back) and
you can do it at the Government's easy to use Moneyclaim
site. Point out that the defendant is
if it was anonymous, of
Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003. Section
30 of that act specifically allows for damages to to
claimed. Also point out that they are in violation of
10 of the ASA non-broadcast CAP codes. See 10.4.2, 10.6 and 10.13.3.
Note that if you use the web page you are limited to a short amount of text, but you can sent longer version with details by post to both the court and defendant. See examples in the next column.